With the arrival this week of a very large and lovable Great Pyrenees pup at The Roost, I decided to focus on our canine friends while searching for a poem for this post. Not surprisingly, there have been lots and lots of poems penned about man's best friend. I finally settled on one that was written by the late (and very great) actor, Jimmy Stewart, that pays homage to a dog who was once an important part of his life. Stewart originally read this piece on the Tonight Show in 1981 where it reportedly made the host, Johnny Carson, cry.
The poem is entitled "I'll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau," and, as you will see, it pretty much surmises the relationship between the man and his beloved pet. (A short note on the fate of Beau follows the poem.)
I'll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau
by Jimmy Stewart
The story of of the actor and his dog is mentioned in the book "Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog that Matches your Personality," and those remarks are summarized by Wikipedia as follows:
“While shooting a movie in Arizona, Stewart received a phone call from Dr. Keagy, his veterinarian, who informed him that Beau was terminally ill, and that Gloria sought his permission to perform euthanasia. Stewart declined to give a reply over the phone, and told Keagy to ‘keep him alive and I'll be there.’ Stewart requested several days' leave, which allowed him to spend some time with Beau before granting the doctor permission to euthanize the sick dog. Following the procedure, Stewart sat in his car for ten minutes to clear his eyes of tears. Stewart later remembered: ‘After [Beau] died there were a lot of nights when I was certain that I could feel him get into bed beside me and I would reach out and pat his head. The feeling was so real that I wrote a poem about it and how much it hurt to realize that he wasn’t going to be there any more.’”